Football: Starting offensive line set for season opener against Alabama

first_imgAfter all the injuries and shuffling on the offensive line during training camp for the Wisconsin football team, the starting lineup has finally been set.The team released its official depth chart for Saturday’s opener against Alabama and the offensive line was listed as: fifth-year senior Tyler Marz at left tackle, redshirt freshman Michael Deiter at left guard, redshirt junior Dan Voltz at center, redshirt junior Walker Williams at right guard and redshirt sophomore Hayden Biegel at right tackle.UW head coach Paul Chryst said at a news conference Monday the lineup gives the Badgers the best chance right now, even though that unit hasn’t worked together once throughout all of training camp.Because of that, Chryst said communication will be key, since Marz and Voltz are the only returning starters from last season’s unit that paved the way for 4,482 rushing yards as a team.“You would have liked to have had more snaps, absolutely,” Chryst said. “They’ve got to continue to talk and continue to develop the chemistry.”It became clear Deiter would earn a starting spot on the line. He consistently worked with the first unit for the last few weeks.UW offensive coordinator and offensive line coach Joe Rudolph said Deiter’s emergence was inevitable.“You knew what you had coming in,” Rudolph said. “He had a really good spring, and I think he’s taken some steps from there with confidence.”The biggest surprise in the announcement is the right side of the line. Both Williams and Biegel suffered injuries during camp.Biegel hadn’t practiced since Aug. 14 when he left practice with a head injury.The way Biegel has handled himself since Chryst and his staff came to Madison gave the head coach the confidence to start him, despite the considerable amount of time off.“Right when he first got here, he picked things up pretty well,” Chryst said. “You feel like he’s a veteran in the way that he approaches it.”Williams had been working as the right tackle with the starters after Biegel was sidelined, but he suffered a head injury Aug. 24 that put him out of commission as well.“He was bouncing around, moving a lot of different places,” Chryst said. “I think he’s kind of settled into where he can give us some help either at the tackle or guard spot.”Chryst said he is confident both players are at 100 percent health and will have a full week of practice.Redshirt freshman Micah Kapoi started taking reps with the first team, but the reemergence of Williams and Biegel pushed him back to the second team. He’s listed as the backup at right guard and center.Regardless, his experience with the starters helped alleviate the depth issues the unit had, Chryst said.“I think we certainly have kind of our core depth right now,” he said.last_img

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